§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty when the detailed accounts of the Shipbuilding Votes will be presented; and whether they will be in the hands of Members, in accordance with practice, before the Navy Estimates are taken in Committee of Supply? I should also like to ask when the Navy Estimates will be taken?
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
In reply to the question on the Paper, as the right hon. Gentleman is aware, the information now given by the Shipbuilding Votes is very voluminous, and far exceeds in detail and minuteness that given a few years back. Owing to the Audit Act passed two years ago, all these details are now subject to the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General; and, therefore, this information has to be prepared and checked with an amount of care not previously considered necessary, and as the future Estimates are regulated by the expenditure of the past, the Return cannot be finally completed until the latest and most accurate Return is available as regards the past. I am afraid that this detailed information will not be in the hands of Members before the general discussion, but I have arranged that 150 copies of the abstract of the Shipbuilding Programme shall be distributed on Saturday morning, and any Member 537 requiring this abstract who leaves his name at the Vote Office will have a copy sent him. In reply to the right hon. Gentleman's further question, I have to state that we hope to take the Navy Estimates on Monday.